Ask friends or personal trainers what they consider to be reliable information that will help tone your abs. Chances are you’ll have different people giving you contrasting opinions. Trying to get some helpful ab-toning exercise information can sometimes seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack. That is why we’ve created this feature. We realize that there is a lot of misinformation out there about working out in general, but specifically about ab-toning exercises. It can seem at times that everyone is offering solutions, but how much of this information can actually help… well, that’s another story.

We’ve outlined some of the more common myths that you may have heard during your quest to get toned abs, and we aim to set the record straight on what works and what you should not waste your time on. Apply this information to your overall diet and exercise routine and plan your workout to help yourself get the best results possible from the time and effort you put into making yourself look fantastic.

MYTH # 1

Abdominal fat can be reduced by just doing ab-toning exercises.


There is no such thing as spot reduction. This means that reducing fat from a certain targeted area just is not possible using exercise alone. It may seem that you lose fat more quickly in some areas than others, but using specific exercises to lose fat from one specific spot on your body is an exercise in futility. And obviously, reducing your calories and following a proper nutrition plan is essential.

MYTH # 2

Abdominal machines are the best way to tone your abs.


While machines can be effective at helping you flatten your stomach, using only machines will probably not get you the best results. Incorporating a variety of different types of ab-toning exercises is the best way to get the body you want, whether you are targeting your stomach or any other area of your body. Variety is the key, and if you’re using only machines, you run the risk of limiting your results.

MYTH # 3

While sit-ups (raising your upper body completely off the ground) may be effective, crunches (raising your neck, shoulders, and the upper part of your back off the ground) can do the same amount of work without all the movement and strain on your neck, and with less risk of cheating. Individuals who perform full sit-ups generally must anchor their legs under something to give themselves leverage. Anchoring your feet incorporates your hips and thighs into the movement. Use crunches – they require less work but can be better at isolating your stomach muscles.

MYTH # 4

You should only tone your abs a couple of times per week.


While it is important to state that you should not overwork any muscle of the body, you should also remember that the abdominals can be toned on a consistent basis. Though everyone is different, you should be able to work your abdominals with basic exercises four or five times per week without overworking the muscles. The abdominals are involved on a daily basis with simple things, such as helping with your posture or helping you get out of a chair. Thus, working them consistently not only will help you look great but also will help you in many other daily activities.

MYTH # 5

Stick to basic movements to get results from your abdominal-toning routine.


While a few select movements are staples in many people’s exercise routines because they are generally considered effective, you should not limit yourself to just basic ab-toning exercises. Choose a variety of exercises that are challenging to you and switch them up every four to six weeks. Remember, the amount of time and effort you put into your overall plan will ultimately determine the appearance of your abdominals (and the rest of your body).

Now that we’ve dispelled some of the myths associated with abdominal training, you can add this information to your overall plan to help you work toward getting the best body – and the most toned stomach – that you’ve ever had.


  • Go to our Workout section to learn how to perform numerous effective exercises. We’ve expanded the stomach exercises section to offer you even more variety.
  • Proper eating is essential to help you reduce caloric intake and shape your body. Get relevant nutrition information you can use in our Nutrition section.
  • Keep in mind that consistent cardio is an important component of your exercise routine. Go to our Cardio section to find out which exercises burn more calories.
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